Singer/songwriter Forrest Hill makes story driven adult alternative indie music, mixing elements of folk, pop and rock. Forrest recently released his 3rd album River of Stars in May 2020, which the online literary magazine Stedkid.com called “dynamic, melodic and memorable.” He recently teamed up with producer/multi-instrumentalist J. Christopher Thomas and singer Olivia Clayton. They have recorded a new album in Oakland CA entitled “Only Love,” due out in the Fall of 2021.
Singer/songwriter Forrest Hill makes story driven indie music, mixing elements of folk, pop and alternative rock, with lyrics inspired by observations of the human condition and personal insights from his meditation practice. Forrest began writing music while hitchhiking across the country through post-Vietnam America. He was inspired to composed by the struggle and beauty he saw around him as he traveled the back roads of the American landscape. Channeling many of his influences at the time (Dylan, Hendrix, Motown) he developed a freewheeling style of music that crosses many styles and captures what Forrest calls the evolving human spirit.
After leaving the road, Forrest settled in Boston where he co-founded the funk rock band Judy’s Tiny Head (JTH). The band released two albums in the 1980s, including the single “My Car” (an ironic take on the worship of status symbols), which became a local commercial favorite in New England and a top 40 hit on college radio. Forrest and JTH went on to performed with such acts as the Violent Femmes, Run DMC, Deborah Harry, Paul Young and Aimee Mann. JTH eventually recorded with famed music producer Teddy Riley, before parting ways in the 1990s.
Following the breakup, Forrest returned to school in Boston and eventually earned a PhD in marine ecology before resettling in Northern California. While working as a postdoc in Davis, he began playing out at local coffee houses, where he developed a new more introspective writing style. His music was highly influence by his environmental work and newly found meditation practice.
After moving to Oakland, Forrest began attending silent meditation retreats and eventually became certified as a mindfulness meditation instructor. He also taught college courses to incarcerated students at San Quentin Prison and organized campaigns for local Green party candidates in the bay area, before moving to Napa. In 2012, Forrest founded Napa Valley Insight Meditation, where he continues to teach to this day.
In 2016, Forrest released his first solo album called “Rust.” The music was shaped by his passion for personal change and the deep love he had found with his new wife. Forrest followed this up with the 2018 album “ShadowLight”, which continued his investigation into life, diving deeper into the subjects of love, acceptance and the inevitability of change. Both albums spent over two months on the college radio music charts and garnered several TV and film licensing agreements
Forrest recently released his newest album entitled “River of Stars,” (May 20, 2020). Beholden to no single formula, the music is influence by such artist as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, The Talking Heads, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Munford & Sons and others. Lyrically, “River of Stars” continues in the style of his recent releases, focusing on the search for meaning in an increasingly mechanized and impersonal world, while seeing the beauty and possibility for liberation in all beings.
Forrest is currently working with producer J. Christopher Thomas on demos for a new album to be recorded in the Spring 2021, at Tiny Telephone Recording Studio in Oakland. The songs for the new release are more introspective than his past albums, exploring some of the deeper phycological and cultural demons that lead to so much suffering and injustice in the world.
Critical reviews in the indie press for River Of Stars:
“Dynamic, melodic and memorable, this is just an excellent release. Absolutely fantastic” ~ STEPKID
“Alternative rock with a pop music edge There is some definite variance along the road…. everything here works well” ~ MUSIC STREET JOURNAL
“A carefully and professionally crafted album with smooth songs that are extremely catchy.” ~ ROOTSTIME (BELGIUM)
“[River of Stars is] full of amazing energy, thought-provoking lyrics, and a fresh of breath air in the indie/folk rock music scene. We highly recommend you listen to this album” ~ MUSIC TRAILS
“[‘River of Stars’] features poetical lyrics and gorgeous backing instrumentation, making it a standout album.” ~ FV MUSIC BLOG
“River of Stars shines through with flowingly amazing music…this is definitely one for the summer playlists.” ~ MUSIC EXISTENCE
Critical reviews in the indie press for ShadowLight:
“Shadowlight its more than an album, it’s a journey throughout time told through the chords of a guitar, the range of a singer and the lyrics of a songwriter…. Hill takes the best of Motown and Funk, and blends them together into memorable tunes.” ~ RJ Frometa of Vent Magazine
“ShadowLight is one of those albums where you can tell how much thought and work was put into it…. So, spread it around…. Highly recommended.” ~ Matt Jensen of Divide and Conquer
“[Forrest Hill] has crafted an album sure to appeal to those enamored with the indie folk scene. It’s full of a bold, declarative statements.” ~ Rick Jamm of JamSphere
“Forrest Hill has a truly incredible sound. He’s created a beautiful album. Any indie/folk rock fan should certainly give Shadowlight a listen…. an impressive feat.” ~ Skope Magazine
“The melodies [on ShadowLight] are pitch perfect, lingering in the mind long after the songs have ended. Reminiscent of the Fleet Foxes, everything about it simply stuns.” ~ Beach Sloth
“Everything about these tracks gives off good vibes…. OVERALL RATINGS (5/5)” ~The Ratings Game